Scilla seem to be trouble. They spread exuberantly—in the case of Scilla bifolia, only slightly less quickly than measles. I am waiting anxiously to see what Scilla, if any, appear this spring.
Alpine squill, Scilla bifolia, is about 3 inches tall when it blooms. How can such a pretty, teeny-tiny plant be so virulently fecund? The planting bed under the witch hazel has had only a few stray seedlings, but the lawn had a zillion before I went after them with a trowel in April 2022. They are a little unpredictable—some underground portions are short, some are long, and some curve around obstructions.
We are roughly two weeks behind where we were last year, based on last year’s photographs. Everything I mention in this post was in bloom at this time last year. The weather changes so much from year to year that I cannot tell you which year is closer to normal—or if there is a normal any more.
Weather aside, I love spring ephemera and will search for them doggedly from mid-March on as long as it’s not pouring rain. They are mostly very small, so I have to actually walk away from the window, go outside, and exercise my eyes looking for changes. Changes are rapid, so there is plenty of incentive to go outside frequently.
The space under the witch hazel was rendered very sparse by the Scilla bifolia purge last year. The Diamond Tiara hostas survived being lifted, put aside, and put back. The hyacinths that have been there for decades survived being rearranged. The Scilla bifolia seedlings that had the temerity to sprout have been removed.
Time to look at the rest of this rather bare flowerbed and scout for new residents.
We’ve had a very chilly April. While I have not heard anyone mention Alberta clippers lately, I see that the winds still seem to be sweeping down and over through western Canada. I wrote about what I hoped was the final April snow on April 10, which would have been roughly average. We had more snow on April 17, and a week in there somewhere with daily flurries. It’s only 43°F right now, and it’s late morning. The garden is moving slowly, but despite the temperature and some very hungry rabbits, there are flowers blooming. Continue reading “Four Plants, Three Weeks: Budbreak to Bloom”
We have been stuck in a cold and dreary weather pattern, and I have been poking around for days looking for something beyond Scilla bifolia ‘Rosea’ and snowdrops when the sun peeks out.
Early Spring Bulbs
This year, the snowdrops bloomed first. The squirrels have done a pretty good job of spreading them out.
The Scilla bifolia ‘Rosea’ have survived the extremely heavy layer of leaves that I put on their bed in the hopes of tamping down their exuberance.
They are really beautiful, but their multiplicative tendencies are positively alarming. They are blooming in the lawn under the silver maple and in a big mass under the witch hazel. Continue reading “Cloudy and 37°F. Again.”
So why am I relieved? We had about 5 ½ inches of snow yesterday, which will protect the plants from the worst of the temperature swings. The bulb part of hardy spring bulbs will survive anything that erratic late winter weather can inflict on them (so far). The flowers may fizzle and sometimes the foliage looks roughed up, but the plants are fine the following year.
The tips of the daffodils are mostly what’s visible today, although there are some leaf tips of dwarf irises poking out here and there. What else is under that snow? Continue reading “…and Snow in March”